Skip to main content

Young people, don't vote for Obama

By Alex Schriver, Special to CNN
updated 11:17 AM EDT, Tue September 11, 2012
Graduates wait to hear President Obama deliver the commencement address at Barnard College on May 14.
Graduates wait to hear President Obama deliver the commencement address at Barnard College on May 14.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • An op-ed recently urged young people not to give up on President Obama
  • Alex Schriver says writer overlooks the failure of Obama to fix the economy
  • Schriver: Grads can't find work, are burdened with student loan debt
  • We need Mitt Romney to move country in a new direction, Schriver writes

Editor's note: Alex Schriver is the national chairman of the College Republican National Committee, an elected body representing 250,000 members on 1,800 campuses. He graduated from Auburn University in 2010.

(CNN) -- In his September 4 op-ed, Jack Schlossberg presents his case that young Americans should cast their ballots for President Obama this fall. Published on the same day it was widely reported that the national debt had hit $16 trillion, his piece is as ill-timed as it is unconvincing.

Seeking to speak to and for his generation, he characterizes Obama as "our biggest ally in Washington." He neglects, of course, to recount the harsh realities of the Obama economy. Instead, his message rests on the flimsy notion that we should hang on a little bit longer because enduring change takes time.

Alex Schriver
Alex Schriver

You may be wondering what happened to "We can't wait" and "Yes we can." Schlossberg concedes that we're "a little more cynical," but contends that "just because our politics and government can disappoint us sometimes doesn't mean we should forget how far we've come."

How far we've come?

Unfortunately, such an argument demonstrates a sloppiness with the facts. Take, for instance, the fact that unemployment has remained above 8% since the beginning of Obama's term. Or, according to this analysis, that half of recent college graduates are jobless or underemployed Or that under Obama, the national debt has risen $5 trillion. Or that Obama presided over the first credit downgrade in American history.

Unemployment and the presidential race

I could go on. The point is, these facts are overwhelming. And they are neither fair to young Americans nor signs of the progress for which we yearn. Rather, they are the residue of generational theft, of promises unmet, of false hopes and of crushed dreams. In a word, travesty. To argue otherwise is to fall out of a fairy tale.

Schlossberg begins his piece with "The Catcher in the Rye's" Holden Caulfield. He compares Caulfield's desire to escape phonies to young people's support for Barack Obama in his first presidential campaign. But the problem with that analysis is that it's four years out of date. In 2008, Obama regaled us with promises of hope and change, but his time in office has exposed the emptiness of these promises.

And there's more than meets to the eye to the president's self-proclaimed achievements. While his allies may credit his health care law with allowing members of my generation to stay on our parents' health care until we're in our mid-20s, the real question is, why can't we find jobs in the first place? Obama regards students as beneficiaries of his achievements. Schlossberg praises the president's "insistence on keeping student interest rates low," but that hasn't kept student loan debt from reaching record levels.

Schlossberg's discussion of Obama's energy policy is equally selective. He talks about the president's "investments in clean energy projects and jobs," but fails to mention that some of these "investments" came at a high price and on the dime of taxpayers. The saying goes that brevity is the soul of wit, so this argument merits a one-word refutation: Solyndra.

But of all of Schlossberg's claims, perhaps the most misguided is the notion that Obama has displayed political courage in the White House. He has refused to reform entitlements in a way that will ensure they remain solvent for future generations -- which is to say, us. Instead, he started a brand new trillion-dollar entitlement program in the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, an unaffordable government takeover of our nation's health care system. His fiscal stewardship has been nothing short of a disaster. Four consecutive years of trillion-dollar deficits isn't courageous; it's immoral.

Schlossberg does get one thing correct, however: Part of growing up is coming to terms with heartbreaking truths. But in this case, it's about coming to terms with the fact that Obama has had his chance to lead and his policies have failed. We don't have to fall into line once again only to be taken for granted. We can vote for a new direction. We can reward truth-telling. We can elect Mitt Romney.

The opinions in this commentary are solely those of Alex Schriver.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:42 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Rick McGahey says Rep. Paul Ryan is signaling his presidential ambitions by appealing to hard core Republican values
updated 11:39 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Paul Saffo says current Google Glasses are doomed to become eBay collectibles, but they are only the leading edge of a surge in wearable tech that will change our lives
updated 2:49 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
Kathleen Blee says the KKK and white power or neo-Nazi groups give haters the purpose and urgency to use violence.
updated 7:56 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Rep. Henry Waxman say read deep, and you'll see the federal Keystone pipeline report spells out the pipeline is bad news
updated 7:53 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Frida Ghitis says President Obama needs to stop making empty threats against Russia and consider other options
updated 5:29 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
Peter Bergen and David Sterman say the Kansas Jewish Center killings are part of a string of lethal violence in the U.S. that outstrips al Qaeda-influenced attacks. Why don't we pay more attention?
updated 12:41 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
Danny Cevallos says families of the passengers on Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 need legal counsel
updated 11:23 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
David Frum says Russia is on a rampage of mischief while Western leaders and Western alliances charged with keeping the peace hem and haw
updated 7:56 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Most adults make the mistakes of hitting the snooze button and of checking emails first thing in the morning, writes Mel Robbins
updated 1:54 PM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
David Wheeler says as middle-class careers continue to disappear, we need a monthly cash payment to everyone
updated 7:55 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Democrats need to show more political spine when it comes to the issue of taxes.
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Donna Brazile recalls the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act as four presidents honored the heroes of the movement and Lyndon Johnson, who signed the law
updated 9:17 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Elmer Smith remembers Chuck Stone, the legendary journalist from Philadelphia who was known as a thorn in the side of police and an advocate for the little guy
updated 2:56 PM EDT, Sun April 13, 2014
Al Franken says Comcast, the nation's largest cable provider, wants to acquire Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest cable provider. Should we be concerned?
updated 11:22 AM EDT, Fri April 11, 2014
Philip Cook and Kristin Goss says the Pennsylvania stabbing attack, which caused grave injury -- but not death, carries a lesson on guns for policymakers
updated 3:06 PM EDT, Fri April 11, 2014
Wikipedia lists 105 football movies, but all too many of them are forgettable, writes Mike Downey
updated 10:32 AM EDT, Fri April 11, 2014
John Sutter and hundreds of iReporters set out to run marathons after the bombings -- and learned a lot about the culture of running
updated 12:49 PM EDT, Fri April 11, 2014
Timothy Stanley says it was cowardly to withdraw the offer of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The university should have done its homework on her narrow views and not made the offer
updated 10:16 AM EDT, Fri April 11, 2014
Al Awlaki
Almost three years after his death in a 2011 CIA drone strike in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki continues to inspire violent jihadist extremists in the U.S, writes Peter Bergen
updated 9:21 PM EDT, Fri April 11, 2014
David Bianculli says Colbert is a smart, funny interviewer, but ditching his blowhard persona to take over the mainstream late-night role may cost him fans
updated 1:31 PM EDT, Thu April 10, 2014
Rep. Paul Ryan says the Republican budget places its trust in the people, not in Washington
updated 5:28 PM EDT, Thu April 10, 2014
Aaron David Miller says Obama isn't to blame for Kerry's lack of progress in resolving Mideast talks
updated 11:22 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
David Weinberger says beyond focusing on the horrors of the attack a year ago, it's worth remembering the lessons it taught about strength, the dangers of idle speculation and Boston's solidarity
updated 12:32 PM EDT, Thu April 10, 2014
Katherine Newman says the motive for the school stabbing attack in Pennsylvania is not yet known, but research on such rampages turns up similarities in suspects and circumstances
updated 7:03 AM EDT, Fri April 11, 2014
Simon Tisdall: Has John Kerry's recent track record left Russia's wily leader ever more convinced of U.S. weakness?
updated 12:40 PM EDT, Thu April 10, 2014
Mel Robbins says Nate Scimio deserves credit for acting bravely in a frightening attack and shouldn't be criticized for posting a selfie afterward
updated 2:39 PM EDT, Wed April 9, 2014
Wendy Townsend says the Rattlesnake Roundup -- where thousands of pounds of snakes are killed and tormented -- is barbaric
updated 9:45 AM EDT, Thu April 10, 2014
Dr. Mary Mulcahy says doctors who tell their patients the truth risk getting bad ratings from them
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Wed April 9, 2014
Peggy Drexler says the married Rep. McAllister, caught on video making out with a staffer, won't get a pass from voters who elected him as a Christian conservative with family values
updated 7:43 AM EDT, Wed April 9, 2014
David Frum says the president has failed to react strongly to crises in Iran, Syria, Ukraine and Venezuela, encouraging others to act out
updated 4:57 PM EDT, Wed April 9, 2014
Eric Liu says Paul Ryan gets it very wrong: The U.S.'s problem is not a culture of poverty, it is a culture of wealth that is destroying the American value linking work and reward
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Wed April 9, 2014
Frida Ghitis writes: "We are still seeing the world mostly through men's eyes. We are still hearing it explained to us mostly by men."
updated 10:08 AM EDT, Thu April 10, 2014
Chester Wisniewski says the Heartbleed bug shows how we're all tangled together, relying on each other for Internet security
updated 3:26 PM EDT, Wed April 9, 2014
Danny Cevallos says an Ohio school that suspended a little kid for pointing his finger at another kid and pretending to shoot shows the growth in "zero tolerance" policies at school run amok
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT